Hotel review: Comfortable luxury at The Chester Grosvenor, Chester

The Chester Grosvenor hotel
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Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.
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The Chester Grosvenor, located in the heart of Chester is known for its style and elegance. Boasting the Simon Radley restaurant, which has retained its Michelin star for more than 25 years and a spa for some relaxation from retail therapy, we at Vada checked-in to find out what The Chester Grosvenor really has to offer.

The Chester Grosvenor

On arrival we were greeted immediately for check-in with a glass of champagne, and with only 68 room and 12 suites we cannot imagine guests are ever kept waiting. Check-in was swift, after which we were escorted to our room, receiving a short tour of the facilities en route, and a tour of the amenities available in the room. The hotel is split over 3 floors (ground up to the second floor), and whilst there is a lift, a stroll up or down the bespoke wooden staircase seems much more fitting.

As well as the restaurants on the ground floor (Simon Radley, La Brasserie – serving meals throughout the day, and Arkle Bar & Lounge for afternoon tea), the first floor is home to the spa, fitness centre and a gallery space – where you can take a break or do some work with a cup of tea ordered from reception.

Accommodation

We stayed in a Deluxe Room (room number 248), the second of four room categories, followed by a further 4 suite categories. The room was well-appointed with soft furnishings designed in blue and grey throughout, which we loved. The room has a spacious hallway with doors leading to the bedroom and bathroom. The main bedroom area was large enough for two twin beds, a sofa area with oversize coffee table, and a separate writing area. We liked the mirrored minibar alcove, and were very pleased to find fresh milk available in the fridge for teas/coffees rather than the usual UHT cartons. Our only criticism was the choice of sachet coffee, where a Nespresso machine (or equivalent) would have easily added an extra touch of luxury.

The bathroom again was large, and tiled entirely in marble, and with luxury T-London toiletries. However we felt that a double sink (as there is space) and a modern rainfall shower would heighten the luxurious feel.

Dining

Breakfast

Breakfast at The Chester Grosvenor was included in our room rate, and is not the usual feral buffet affair you find at most hotels, which even some high-end chains favour. Instead we were greeted and informed it was a la carte table service. There are ‘continental’ and ‘speciality’ options, although you are free to pick and choose what you would like to eat. We opted for Eggs Benedict, an Omelette and a fresh fruit salad alongside a pot of steaming, freshly brewed coffee. We were pleasantly surprised by the breakfast – the omelette, with cheese bacon, tomatoes and chives was delicious and the Eggs Benedict, cooked to perfection with lightly toasted muffin soaking up runny yolk and hollandaise. Tattinger is also available at a £14 surcharge per glass.

Dinner at La Brasserie

For Dinner, we ate at La Brasserie. We started with blackened aubergines (£13.95) served with Tandori scallops, smoked almonds and yoghurt, and the seared mackerel (£10.95) accompanied by a sea herb and chicory salad, green apple and horseradish. Both dishes balanced complex flavours well and were a pleasant surprise in terms of presentation – enough to get our taste buds tingling for the main course; however the aubergine dish was rather conservative with the aubergines themselves.

For main courses, we chose the Rump of lamb (£22.95) served rare with spiced pastille, rose Harissa, pistachio and date, and Shropshire venison (£23.45) well cooked with saucisson stuffed cabbage, cauliflower and redcurrant. We shared sides of hand cut chips (£3.45), spinach (£3.95) and cauliflower cheese (£3.95). We found it hard to fault either dish, and the modern twist of seared cabbage and cauliflower were delicious with the tender meat. We can see why La Brasserie has been awarded two rosettes from the AA.

For dessert we opted for the Coupe Maison (£6.25), an Eton-mess type of affair with meringue, cream, fruit and ice-cream. We also tried the Rococo chocolates (£3.85) and an Espresso Martini cocktail (£10.95), which was well mixed and perfectly presented.

The Chester Grosvenor also boasts the aforementioned Simon Radley Michelin-star restaurant, available for guest bookings 6:30 – 9:00pm Tuesdays to Saturdays.

The Spa

Elemis is the product brand of choice at The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor, ideal as it is one of our favourites also. The spa has a handful of massage rooms and selection of treatments for the face, body, holistic rituals for body and soul, as well as finishing touches options. We had a 60 minute full body massage (£65), leaving us feel utterly soothed and relaxed. We were provided with water and sorbet provided after massage as rehydration.

The Spa has a thermal suite with a small selection of experiences to further sooth and relax. There is a relaxation room (with beds for up to 5 people at a time) where water, fruit and juice are provided. There is a foot bath area with Elemis scrubs, which we indulged in using the Frangipani scrub, which left our skin incredibly supple. We also entered the dry sauna, enjoying this with the themed shower to invigorate our skin after the massage. There is also a crystal steam room, salt grotto and ice fountain.

We found staff were friendly, attentive and professional; however we were a little disappointed at the small size of the spa and no pool or jacuzzi that we would typically expect.

The Chester Grosvenor also have a compact but not cramped fitness centre, accessible via guest room key cards. A basic selection of a previous generation of ThechnoGym equipment is provided. Whilst this certainly doesn’t compete with much larger fitness complexes, you are able to get in a good cardio or core workout and we didn’t have any problem with availability of machines or equipment.

Service

From the minute we walked into The Chester Grosvenor we were impressed at the professional, seamless service. Bell boys took our bags with name, which were waiting for us in our room after check-in without any further intervention from us.

Throughout our stay staff we readily available for any questions, assistance and cups of tea we required, without being intrusive. Equally, waiting staff in the restaurants were knowledgable and listened before making recommendations rather than just trying to up-sell food and beverages.

Overall

Overall we would rate The Chester Grosvenor 4.5 out of 5. The service was excellent, and some of the best we have received in the travel industry, leaving us feel relaxed and at ease throughout our stay. Our room, whilst well decorated, spacious and luxurious lacked a few small touches, which could have enhanced it further, and it is a shame there is no pool or Jacuzzi in the spa!

The breakfast service was delightful, and a couple of the dishes on the dinner menu in La Brasserie restaurant took us pleasantly by surprise.

Would we go back? Given it’s convenience on the high street, for a break in Chester or the surrounding area, yes we would visit The Chester Grosvenor again for its professional and personal service with a bit of extra pampering.

The Chester Grosvenor is located at Eastgate Street, Chester, CH1 1LT.

For more information and to book, visit chestergrosvenor.com – we have found room rates from £145 per night.

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